NEW YORK (AP/WOAY) — Three abandoned devices that looked like pressure cookers caused an evacuation of a major New York City subway station and closed off an intersection in another part of town Friday morning before police determined the objects were not explosives.
Police were looking to talk to a man seen on surveillance video taking two of the objects — which police identified as rice cookers — out of a shopping cart and placing them in a subway station in lower Manhattan. In photos released by authorities, the young man is seen standing by an elevator and then lugging a cooker in.
But police stressed that so far, it wasn’t clear whether he was trying to frighten people or merely throwing the objects away.
“I would stop very short of calling him a suspect,” said John Miller, the New York Police Department’s top counterterror official. “It is possible that somebody put out a bunch of items in the trash today and this guy picked them up and then discarded them, or it’s possible that this was an intentional act.”
Earlier, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said authorities suspected the items were placed in the subway “to suggest that they were electronic devices and possible bombs.”
Many rice cookers look like pressure cookers, but the latter use pressure to cook food quickly — a function that has been used to turn them into bombs.
According to the Logan County Sheriff's Office, the man in question is Larry Kenton Griffin II of Bruno, Logan County. Griffin has had several run-ins with the law within the past eight years, according to deputies.
Some of the charges he has faced include possession of a controlled substance involving weapons, and use of obscene material to seduce a minor.
Most recently a warrant for his arrest was issued on March 18, 2019. Deputies said the warrant was issued due to Griffin’s failure to report for missing drug screens as part of his pre-trial bond supervision.
Those with any information on where Griffin is located contact the Logan County Sheriff’s Office at 304-792-8590.